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Side Table Makeover

You might have seen a project spoiler we posted on twitter and instagram last weekend. (If you didn’t you should follow us! @charlestoncraft) Sean found this side table next to the dumpster in his apartment complex years ago. It has been since sitting on his screened porch collecting dust and getting, if possible, even ickier.

Side Table Before - Charleston Crafted

As you can see, the table is wood, but has layers of thin wood (fake wood?) on each surface that are really gross and peely. And yes, it has been sitting, just like this, for actual years.

Peeling Wood - Charleston Crafted

I finally had enough and insisted that we get a move on it. So, we buckled down and (during commercial breaks on the Panthers game for Sean) started by carefully peeling off the icky wood.

Scraping Wood - Charleston Crafted

This took a lot longer than expected. Sean had to use this metal scraper to get some of the tough bits. However, when we finally got it off, it automatically looked 1,000 times better.

Side Table Before - Charleston Crafted

Look how much crap we pulled off! WOW!

Then we noticed that the top of the table was kind of warped. Maybe from sitting in next to a dumpster for an indeterminate period of time. Or maybe its just warped out of protest of being ignored on the porch for so long.

Gluing Table - Charleston Crafted

Have no fear, Sean filled the gaps with wood glue (we used Gorilla Glue Wood Glue) and used clamps to squeeze it flat. After around an hour, it was dry enough to remove the clamps and proceed.

Fixing a Warped Table - Charleston Crafted

Next, we sanded the whole thing down really well. We used regular sand paper (80 coarse) on the legs and curvy bits and this nifty sandpaper block for the flat parts. Its a plastic thing that you slip a piece of sandpaper in (we cut a bit off of a larger piece of sandpaper) and makes it so much easier to hold and use!

Sanding a Table - Charleston Crafted

We sanded it really well and then used a damp cloth to wipe off the dust and see if we needed any touch ups.

Sanding a Table - Charleston Crafted

Next came the fun part! We painted on Rustoleum ultimate wood stain in dark walnut using a foam brush. We painted it on thick, let it sit for about five minutes, and then wiped the excess with a rag.

Staining a Table - Charleston Crafted

I stretched a rubber band around the can so I could scrape any excess stain off of the brush.

Staining a Table - Charleston Crafted

Staining a Table - Charleston Crafted

Cici wanted to come help so badly! Too bad puppies don’t have thumbs or we would have let her!

Staining a Table - Charleston Crafted

It turned out so yummy! I love this darker color, I just think dark wood looks so much richer and more expensive than light wood.

Staining a Table - Charleston Crafted

We let it dry over night. Meanwhile, we both had stain all over our hands. It won’t come off at all with soap, so we thought we’d share this little trick- rub vegetable oil all over the stained area, then rinse with warm water. It magically all comes off!

How to Seal a Table - Charleston Crafted

Finally, we sealed the table. It took 3 thin coats of Polycrylic Protective Finish Clear Satin sealant with light sandings in between. This was tedious, but we wanted to make sure it would withstand cups without coasters and wet rag wipedowns in case it (inevitably) gets pollen-y in the spring.

How to Seal a Table - Charleston Crafted

Now here’s a reminder of how it first looked:

Side Table Before - Charleston Crafted

And here it is now:

Side Table Make Over - After - Charleston Crafted

Side Table Make Over - After - Charleston Crafted

So much better! We are beyond thrilled with it. Sean is kicking himself for not doing this two years ago! Any transformations been going on in your home lately?

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Side Table Before and After - Charleston Crafted

P.S. – Look under our Cozumel memory jar for a sneek peek of our latest craft coming at you soon!

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Saturday 17th of April 2021

[…] and imagine that it had any potential at all? Morgan and Sean completely gave this warped and worn side table some much needed love. It’s hard to believe it’s even the same piece of […]

Mari of crab+fish

Wednesday 4th of September 2013

WOW, what a transformation! I love seeing old finds transformed and ready to be loved again.

Trisha D.

Tuesday 27th of August 2013

Ahh I love salvaged sad little pieces turned glorious makeover glamorous!! Kinda like the movie with Freddie Prince Jr.-- She's All That.

Such a great break from painted furniture. That stain color is very dark, moody and perfect.

The beau always gives me the 'eyebrow' when I shamelessly pull some treasure out of the trunk.


Tuesday 27th of August 2013

haha well sean actually salvaged this one. difference was, he was using it in its decrepit state.....

Donna A. Hansen

Tuesday 19th of March 2013

It looks definitely so much better than how it was. You must really be happy with the result. What an amazing job you just did! Thanks for sharing!


Monday 24th of September 2012

This turned out fabulous!!! I love it!!!


Monday 24th of September 2012

Thanks! I had no idea how it would go but figured I had very little to lose and am so happy with it!

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